Hillsdale Communicator

July 2019


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

There will not be a regular club meeting in July.  Next meeting date to be determined by the board.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 8am at the Draft Horse Diner, 119 Marshall in Litchfield (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The June breakfast was held at the Sidekick Cafe in Osseo and was attended by five amateurs.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, July 6, at 10:30am at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members are welcome.  Use the south entrance off city parking lot F.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 16 as of June 30.  No activity during the month.



New Ham

Congratulations to new ham Timothy Bowman KE8MMT of Jonesville.  He was granted his Technician license on June 19.



Local Hams Support CAA Head Start Picnic

Amateur radio volunteers Don Gambill KC8WAU and Brett Smith KC8ZDA worked the parking detail at the Community Action Agency Head Start Picnic held June 7.  Volunteers directed vehicles to parking spaces, maintaining an orderly flow of traffic throughout the event.



New General Class Question Pool Effective July 1

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee has released the 2019-2023 Element 3 General Class Question Pool into the public domain.  The new Question Pool is effective for Element 3 exams administered on or after July 1, 2019.  The General question pool released in 2015 is no longer valid.  (ARRL story)



WWJ, The World's First Commercial Radio Station

The radio station known for nearly a century now as WWJ began as a birthday gift from Detroit News Publisher W.E. Scripps to his son, W.J. "Bill" Scripps, who had asked for a radio set with which he could experiment.  Check out this WWJ picture gallery from the Detroit News archive.  (Detroit News Archive)



Michigan First-Responder Radio Network Has 100K Participants

Michigan officials say more than 100,000 radios are connected with a statewide public safety communications network.  The network operated by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget provides first responders such as police and firefighters with reliable communications across Michigan’s 83 counties.  Nearly 1,900 local, tribal, state and federal participants are wired into the system.  (Detroit News story)



Will We Lose The 2m Band?

Southgate reported recently that there’s been a proposal by France to make the Aeronautical Mobile Service the primary users of the 144-146 MHz band and demote the Amateur Radio Service to secondary users.  The report says that this is “part of a broader consideration of the spectrum allocated to that service.”  (KB6NU blog post)  (ARRL story Proposed WRC-23 Agenda Items Causing Concern)  (ARRL story No Strong Opposition to 144 – 146 MHz Reallocation Proposal at CEPT Meeting)



Historic 2-Meter Transatlantic Contact Reported

D41CV on Cape Verde Islands and FG8OJ in Guadeloupe spanned the Atlantic Ocean on 2 meters for the first time on June 16, according to reports.  The distance was 3,867 kilometers (2,397.5 miles).  The historic contact was made on 144.174 MHz using FT8 mode.  (ARRL story)



Petition For Rulemaking Asks FCC To Create A New 8-Meter Amateur Band

The FCC has put on public notice for comment a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11843) that seeks the creation of a new 8-meter Amateur Radio allocation on a secondary basis.  The Petition suggests the new band could be centered on an industrial-scientific-medical segment somewhere between 40.51 and 40.70 MHz.  The spectrum between 40 and 41 MHz is currently allocated to the Federal Government and, as such, within the purview of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  ARRL member Michelle Bradley KU3N filed the petition in May on behalf of REC Networks, which she founded and described in the Petition as “a leading advocate for a citizen’s access to spectrum,” including Amateur Radio spectrum.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Offers “What Is Amateur Radio?” Video And PowerPoint Presentation

ARRL has produced and is making available the downloadable video, “What is Amateur Radio?” to use at club meetings and at public events.  A PowerPoint version is also available for members to download.  Recognizing the tremendous need and desire for such a product among ARRL members, ARRL’s Lifelong Learning Department initiated the project.  ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode W3MVP produced the video, which runs just under 3 minutes long.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL What is Ham Radio? page)



QRZ.Com Institutes Password Security, Seller Verification Programs

In an effort to combat fraudsters and password phishers, the popular QRZ.com Amateur Radio website is offering the option of establishing two-factor authentication (2FA) for its registered users.  The site’s founder and president, Fred Lloyd AA7BQ, explains that 2FA secures a user’s password on the site.  “With 2FA, your actual password becomes nearly moot, and revealing it to a crook has no detrimental effect,” Lloyd told ARRL.  “With 2FA, you need the one-time code, and that’s the only thing that will work.  It’s a solid technology that is rapidly gaining in popularity.”  (ARRL story)



Hap Holly KC9RP, Producer Of The RAIN Report Retiring

Hap Holly KC9RP, who’s been producing The RAIN Report Amateur Radio newscast every week for 30 years, has announced that he’s retiring and closing down.  “The archives will remain online for those who want to download and/or broadcast them,” Holly told ARRL.  (ARRL story)  (RAIN Report archive)



Pennsylvania Radio Amateur Dies In Tower Installation Mishap

A Pennsylvania radio amateur was killed on during a tower installation project when a tower section he was working on collapsed.  Authorities said Leland Parsons III N3LPJ was apparently attempting to attach a guy wire to the bottom tower section when it went over .  Parsons was an ARRL member and the president of the Susquehanna County Amateur Radio Club.  (ARRL story)



Sun's 11-Year Cycle Appears To Be Driven By Alignment Of The Planets

Every 11 years, the Sun cycles through from riotous flare and sunspot activity to a quieter period, before ramping up again.  It's almost as regular as clockwork, and for years astronomers have been wondering what causes it.  Now, they've proposed a new solution.  (ScienceAlert story)



Nature Article Suggest A “Grand Solar Minimum” Lies Ahead

A juried research paper in Nature, “Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale,” suggests that a “grand solar minimum”,  similar to the legendary “Maunder Minimum”, is approaching, starting as early as next year and lasting for three solar cycles.  That would be bad news for HF enthusiasts, who are already struggling with marginal conditions.  (ARRL story)



Over-The-Horizon Radars Continue To Plague Amateur Bands

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports a “new kind” of over-the-horizon (OTH) radar on 20 meters.  The intruding signal, which appears to be emanating from the Far East, was monitored during May on 14.140 – 14.150 MHz.  Another Chinese wideband OTH radar has been showing up on 15 meters, with a signal 160 kHz wide.  An Iranian radar has appeared on 10 meters, centered on 28.860 MHz, and is audible in Europe during sporadic-E conditions.  The signal is about 46 kHz wide.  The Russian OTH radar “Konteyner” OTH radar centered on 14.127 MHz continues to be observed, with a 12 kHz wide signal.  (ARRL story)



Silent Keys

Terry C.  Arnold KE0TCA (SK): Terry Arnold KE0TCA, of Osseo, became a Silent Key on June 13.  Click here to view obituary.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

06/05/19 KD8LPF, Tucker, Brian G, license renewed, address updated to out of county

06/19/19 KE8MMT, Bowman, Timothy C, new licensee Technician

06/19/19 KC8DAU, SMITH, JOHN R, address updated from out of county



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Settles with Massachusetts Pirate Broadcaster: After filing a civil action and seeking an injunction to stop a church-related pirate radio station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts, the US Attorney’s Office reached a settlement with the station’s operators, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church.  Oburoni and the church admitted that they had operated an FM broadcast station without a license.  According to a consent decree subject to court approval, Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church agree not to do so in the future.  They also agreed to surrender all of their broadcasting equipment.  (ARRL story)


Radio Amateur to Lose License as Part of Enforcement Case Settlement: A New Jersey radio amateur will surrender his Amateur Extra-class license and pay a $7,500 civil penalty as part of a Consent Decree with the FCC to settle an enforcement action.  An FCC Enforcement Bureau Order said David S.  Larsen Sr.  WS2L violated the Communications Act of 1934 and Part 90 rules by operating on frequencies licensed to the Borough of Highland Park for public safety communication.  (ARRL story)




Hillsdale County Emergency Management: HCEM is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  Contact the HCEM office if you are interested.  Meetings and siren tests are normally held on the first Monday of the month in the evening, March through October, with a few exceptions.


Meeting Programs: We are always looking for interesting ideas for meeting programs.  It doesn’t always have to be about ham radio.  It could be something community related or maybe you know somebody that would be an interesting speaker.  Club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF leads the effort to arrange meeting programs for the club.  Contact Dan or any member of club leadership if you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself.


Michigan State Parks On The Air: Starting April 1, 2017, Michigan hams embarked on the most ambitious on-the-air project ever, the Michigan State Parks on the Air (MSPOTA).  Previous State Park activations on the air around the country have focused on a single weekend.  The Michigan State Parks system as a whole will be 100 years old in 2019.  Some of our parks actually began operation in 1917.  Hence, the celebration began in 2017 and continues through 2019.  That is three years of State Parks on the Air!  Lots of time for activators and chasers alike!  This event includes 117 MDNR Parks & Recreation sites including State Parks, Recreation Areas, Scenic Sites and State Trails rotated over the 3 years.  That adds up to about 50 parks across the state active in each event year.  (More info at MSPOTA website)


Microsoft Announces End Of Support For Windows 7: Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009.  When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support to focus investment on supporting newer technologies.  The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020.  (Announcement and FAQ)


Distracted Driving Bills Introduced In State Legislature: There are several bills (HB 4181, HB 4198 and HB 4199) that have been formulated in the Michigan House of Representatives that deal with Distracted Driving.  The Michigan ARRL legislative team has been watching as these bills were introduced in the House.  Amateur Radio was granted an exemption (the use of amateur radio while driving) from being considered a distraction.  The exemption amendment referenced 47 CFR Part 97, 47 CFR Part 90 and a reference to CB radio.  (ARRL Michigan Section post)



Upcoming Events

July 6 – Board Meeting

July 13 – Ham Breakfast

July 20 – Auburn Hamfest (NEW HAMFEST)

July 21 – Van Wert Hamfest

August 10 – Angola Hamfest


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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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